It’s very easy in the current musical climate to play it safe in order to succeed at a higher level. The hard part is trying to be original in a world of clones and bring some new flavors. Tougher still when you choose to step into the spotlight for the first time by yourself on a bigger stage, as the stakes are higher. As the saying goes “pressure makes diamonds”. Jen Ledger, drummer for Skillet, stepping out on her own for a solo led band was inevitable given her talent. If namesake band and self-titled EP (Hear it Loud) are any indication, the frontwoman role is one she can own for a long time.
Full of smooth, fun anthemic rock and pop tracks, Ledger has a lot in common with a lot of modern artists, not too far stylistically from In This Moment, New Years Day, Joy Williams, Paramore and others. This might be Jen’s solo debut, but all of the tracks are tight, and fully-fledged. It’s just good songs that Jen co-wrote with her bandmate Korey Cooper (Skillet) and Grammy award winning producer and writer Seth Mosely. The tracks definitely had Jen’s imprint all over them, especially her powerful, self-assured vocals.
From the defiant opener ‘I’m Not Dead Yet’, you know she means business. She’s not afraid to use that powerful voice, at all. ‘Warrior’ featuring John Cooper from Skillet on guest vocals, just kicks ass. This would be some kickass walkout music for a “face” on NXT Wrestling.
‘Bold’ has a cool beat and a great message of empowerment for the listener. ‘Foreigner’ is a daring track too, a bit of dark pop rock that definitely could play to a bigger crowd. The chorus is huge and satisfying.
‘Ruins’ is my second favorite track on here. Although is works like a classic ballard, I love the vocal lines and lyrics especially. It has all the gooseflesh inducing feels you want in a track like this. ‘Iconic’ closes it out with a danceable synth rock jam that would make a good show opener. It shares a little musical DNA with artists like PVRIS too. I’d like to hear more tracks like this one.
Fierce, focused, and definitely not playing it safe; Jen Leger is a future force to be reckoned with in the scene.